Change of Use

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 18th September 2018.

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Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of research conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Assessing the impacts of extending permitted development rights to office-to-residential change of use in England, published in May, which suggests that developers are using permitted development applications to circumvent space standards; and whether they plan to review relevant legislation in the light of this research.

Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recommendations in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ publication, Assessing the impacts of extending permitted development rights to office-to-residential change of use in England, published in May, that minimum space standards should apply to permitted development schemes.

Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ publication, Assessing the impacts of extending permitted development rights to office-to-residential change of use in England, published in May, that permitted development has “allowed extremely poor-quality housing to be developed”, and only 30 per cent of ‘studio’ flats built under the legislation meet national space standards; and whether they plan to review relevant legislation in the light of this.

Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the concerns raised in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ publication, Assessing the impacts of extending permitted development rights to office-to-residential change of use in England, published in May, about “overcrowding, noise, health and safety (particularly fire safety) and social infrastructure” as a result of “lower quality accommodation” being developed; and whether they plan to review relevant legislation in the light of these concerns.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

National permitted development rights play an important role in the planning system, providing flexibility, reducing bureaucracy and making the most effective use of existing buildings. The permitted development right for the change of use from office to residential is making an important contribution to the delivery of new homes across the country. Nationally, over 17,700 homes were delivered under the right in the year to March 2017, accounting for 8 per cent of national housing delivery.

All homes, whether granted permission on a planning application or through a national permitted development right, are required to meet Building Regulations, including fire safety.

Local planning authorities can make an Article 4 direction to remove a permitted development right where it is felt that it is necessary to protect the amenity or wellbeing of an area. This then requires a planning application which the local planning authority can determine in accordance with local plan policies.

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